Located in York, Alabama, the Coleman Center for the Arts is a community, contemporary art space, that uses art to foster positive social change, answer civic needs, build local pride, and use creativity for community problem solving – locally. CCA’s programs evolve directly out of the needs of the local community and the ability to answer the question: how can an arts initiative help us address this need? Their artist-in-residence program is their most prominent way of creating social change and addressing these community needs.
The residency program focuses on socially engaged, participatory, public art and creates opportunities for artists and community members to work as co-participants on projects that address civic and social needs. All of the projects begin with a 3-10 day visit to York where artists meet with the community and vis versa – BEFORE any art or project is initiated. This also allows for community feedback and exposure to a project idea while still in the ideation phase. As this relationship builds, community members are involved in the entire development of the artistic product. A very unique operation and one that absolutely does inspire collaboration and community involvement, with a result that is truly catered to the community’s needs.